Dr. Michela Centinari, Associate Professor of Viticulture at Penn State, joined me recently for a listener requested podcast episode on all things spotted lanternfly. In today’s blog, we highlight actions that growers can take to minimize the impact of spotted lanternfly for at-risk vineyards.
The Rise of the Spotted Lanternfly in North America
The spotted lanternfly, an invasive species native to Asia, was first discovered (in the USA) in Pennsylvania in 2014 and has since spread to 13 states along the East Coast. Grapevines are high on the list of the insect’s preferred feeding sources, with large clusters of adults and nymphs often found on a single vine. This pest is not only a threat to grapevines but also to other plants, as it feeds on more than 60 different species.
Managing Spotted Lanternfly Risk in Vineyards
If your vineyard is in an area at risk for spotted lanternfly, these actions can help protect or minimize vine damage from spotted lanternfly.
- Practice good canopy management and nutrition management. Healthy vines are much more likely to suffer minimal damage and recover from spotted lantern fly infestation than weaker, less healthy vines.
- Tree-of-heaven control – The-tree-of-heaven is a preferred host for the spotted lanternfly, so removing or managing these trees near your vineyard can lower your vineyard risk for spotted lanternfly and help to reduce the insect’s population. Learn more about tree-of-heaven management from these Penn State resources:
- Be able to spot a spotted lanternfly. It is important for grape growers in at-risk areas to educate themselves on the appearance of the spotted lanternfly in its various life stages, including eggs, nymphs, and adults. Early detection, reporting, and treatment are crucial in preventing significant damage to grapevines. See the 5 looks of a spotted lanternfly lifecycle with Penn State’s photo chart.
- Mind the gap or in this case mind the edge. As with other insect pests, spotted lanternfly are more likely to infest the edge rows of vineyards, especially those next to wooded areas or near other SLF preferred host plants. When possible, growers should clear away as much as possible of wild or wooded areas next to their vineyards, and should be vigilant in monitoring their edge rows for signs of spotted lanternfly.
To learn more about identifying, preventing, and treating spotted lanternfly, check out vineyardundergroundpodcast.com/vu021.